Summer Splash: What Is The Best Summer Watch? Quarter Finals — Omega Vs. G-Shock
With the summer still very much still alive and kicking, it is time for our third Summer Splash quarter-final. In our third of four match-ups, we have two watches lined up for you that are on totally different ends of the spectrum. The “serious” Omega Seamaster 300M came out on top in Robert-Jan’s battle of the divers. It takes on the absolutely bonkers-looking G-Shock MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix” that took the first spot out of Jorg’s three picks. Can the G-Shock upset the Omega and have a shot at the title or does the Omega halt the rise of the “Blue Phoenix”? Time to find out!
Let’s kick things off with what might be the biggest surprise of the first round of our Summer Splash competition. In a match-up with the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue and the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57, the G-Shock MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix” took the top spot. A surprise? Or simply the most colorful and summery watch in the competition? Over to Jorg to find out more.
G-Shock MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix”
When the “Blue Phoenix” slowly but smoothly made its way to the next round, I was incredibly surprised. Maybe not as surprised as seeing a bearded lady win the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2014, but still a big surprise. I could not have thought that it would beat out the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue in a direct match-up. Obviously, the silver Black Bay Fifty Eight is still in this contest for the BB58 fans, so that could play a role. But I was even more surprised how little love there was for the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57. A watch that, in my opinion, exudes summer. But hey, I am definitely content with the “Blue Phoenix” as your pick for this quarter-final.
But before I get on with telling you why it is an absolute cracker of a watch, let me first address the elephant in the room. Some of you asked me where you could buy the limited edition G-Shock. Isn’t it sold out and therefore breaking the contest rules|? During the writing of my article, I found multiple retailers online that still had the watch available at list price. It’s why I made it part of my summery trio of watches. Since then, and perhaps because of the Summer Splash, the watch seems to have sold out just about everywhere. Having said that, I am sure that our resident game show host Bobby Barker will take drastic measures if it turns out that the rules of the game have been broken. Until then, it’s game on!
The biggest Summer Splash statement
The “Blue Phoenix is without a doubt the most colorful statement still in this competition. As I explained in the review, the watch just brings the biggest smile to your face. A smile caused by initial feelings of unease that melt away and turn into a smile of pure joy and admiration. Don’t let its looks deceive you though. It is the ultimate fun summer watch, but it also fits a wide array of situations because it is a lot less present on the wrist than you might think. It blends in perfectly with your summer clothing of choice with only the bright hints of pink standing out immediately.
But I won’t talk too long about everything that makes this watch so special. You can read all about the special construction, the unique ion plating process, and the tremendous number of functions this watch features in the review. Because the “Blue Phoenix’ Is definitely a serious watch. But that is not why it’s here to win. It’s here to win because it is the opposite of that. While being serious at heart, this watch is the most fun summer watch that is left in the competition. And that, in my humble opinion, is what we are looking for. Though I absolutely love the Seamaster Professional 300M Diver, it is far more serious, far more versatile, and far more expensive. What we are looking for, is the biggest smile to close out the summer. And that’s where the “Blue Phoenix”, and its bonkers looks, take the crown.
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 188.8.131.52.04.001
Oh Jorg, I truly feel for you… This is going to be a massacre! Anyway, let’s focus on the watches. The first results of my initial round of three watches (including the Tudor Pelagos LHD, the Seiko SLA021J “Marinemaster”, and the Omega Seamaster 300M) were very promising for the titanium Pelagos LHD. From all the Tudor watches available, it would be my first pick too. Although I like the BB58 models, they are so clearly linked to Rolex heritage, where the Pelagos models aren’t. However, the Omega fans jumped in and voted for the Seamaster 300M with a white dial and black bezel, on a rubber strap (reference 184.108.40.206.04.001). It won with 44% over 41% over the Tudor, and the rest went to the Seiko SLA021J. I was most surprised that the love for the SLA021J is not as big as it once was anymore. So be it, it still had double-digit votes.
Caliber 8800 Master Chronometer
Omega updated the Seamaster 300M a few times, but never as seriously as they did in 2018. They brought back the wave pattern on the dial, increased the case diameter, and started using an in-house movement. Before, the watch was still powered by an ETA-based movement: the Omega caliber 2500, based on the ETA 2892-A2 with an added Co-Axial escapement. In the new Seamaster 300, you will find the Omega caliber 8800. A Master Chronometer certified movement, so you know it means business. But business doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, as Jorg wrote above. The Seamaster 300M comes in a wide variety of dial and bezel options, and you can also choose between the bracelet and a (rubber) strap. And then there are the bi-color, full gold, and special titanium (Bond) models, but those are beyond the scope of the Summer Splash as we set the budget to €5,000.
It also works during other seasons
I like the white dial version best, perhaps a big contrast with Jorg’s €1100 G-Shock watch. But I believe that you are the one that should make the watch shine and not vice versa, of course. In all seriousness, the black & white theme does not only look great in the summer but also will make it not feel out of place on the wrist during all other seasons of the year. A lot of third parties, but also directly from Omega, will offer 20mm rubber straps or NATO straps in a variety of colors. So you’ll be able to change the strap to something more colorful to match your summer attire if you feel like it.
In today’s world of watches, in this price category, it is difficult to find watches that are utter crap. But, digging a little deeper, you will quickly find out that there can be a lot of differences in the movements, movement decoration, finishing, case construction, etc. It’s those kinds of details that show you whether a watch brand wants to have a high-profit margin or that they actually want to offer the best they can do for the money. With the Seamaster 300M, you will have a nice satin-brushed finished case, a ceramic dial with laser-etched wave pattern, an in-house developed movement that has been certified to incredibly high standards by a respected third-party organization (METAS). Even compared to some of Omega’s other watches in its collection, the Seamaster 300M offers a ton of value for money.
Between the initial introduction of my three Summer Splash choices and this battle against Jorg, I had a chance to see and try the watch during my short trip to Switzerland two weeks ago. After seeing it in the metal, I am fully convinced that I will be buying one myself as soon as I financially recover from the holiday spendings. Well, actually, it’s my promise to you that I will buy it. On the rubber strap, exactly as pictured above.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide who will go on to the semi-final! Chose wisely, as the watch you pick may well end up crowned winner of the Summer Splash!